Vincent van Gogh painted three distinct versions of his bedroom in Arles between 1888 to 1889. The first version was created in mid-October 1888, after he moved into the “Yellow House” that he prepared himself with simple furniture and his own works on the wall. This first version is known for its abundant use of color, simplification, and grandeur that suggests rest or dream.
The painting held a special significance for Van Gogh as it expressed “perfect rest” or “sleep in general.” Despite minor variations among the three paintings, each version captures the essence of Van Gogh’s ideal bedroom through strong lines and color use. The second version was created while Van Gogh was hospitalized at an asylum but closely resembles the original rendition.
The third and most widely recognized version was painted in late September 1889 where he added more significant details such as pipe hanging by the bedpost and a picture on the wall that signify his interest outside of work—smoking tobacco from a pipe for leisure activity while playing with paint as props. Today, all three versions are considered masterpieces with one being displayed at Art Institute of Chicago among many other famous artworks displayed throughout history. Although Vincent van Gogh suffered tragic ends to his life shortly after completing this series of paintings, his room paintings remain timeless works that offer insight into his unique artistic expressions.